Amazon offers discounts to users of its price check app, this Saturday only

If you’ve never used a price check app inside a bricks-and-mortar store, you may have seen someone else using one. That’s right, they’re the ones discreetly (or perhaps not-so-discreetly) scanning an item’s barcode, or snapping a photo of it, or whispering the name of it into their smartphone in order to discover if it’s available for a lower price elsewhere.

To promote its own price check app, Amazon is offering users 5 percent off items if they add it to their shopping cart within the Amazon Price Check app. The offer is good for this Saturday only, with shoppers allowed a maximum discount of $5 on each of no more than three items.

“The ability to check prices on your mobile phone when you’re in a physical retail store is changing the way people shop,” director of Amazon Mobile Sam Hall said in a statement. “Price transparency means that you can save money on the products you want and that’s a great thing for customers.”

The company will also use the data it receives from shoppers using the app to ensure it’s offering the best prices to its consumers.

“We scour online and in-store advertisements from other retailers, every day, year-round. Now, we are enabling customers to use the Price Check app to share in-store prices while they search for the best deals. This is a powerful opportunity for customers to get involved and ensures Amazon customers get the best possible prices,” Hall said.

Bricks-and-mortar retailers will be able to do little except look on helplessly as shoppers come in to use their premises as an opportunity to try out a product before popping it in their virtual shopping cart and waltzing off out again.

Thanks to low-cost overheads, the online retail giant is already able to offer a better price on most products than its physical mall-based counterparts. Amazon will be hoping that Saturday’s promotion will get its price check app onto more smartphones, encouraging even more people to shop with the web-based company. And when a shopping app finds its way onto a smartphone, there is, of course, even more chance of making an impulse purchase.

Amazon’s free price check app is available for both iOS and Android devices.

Get our Top Stories delivered to your inbox: